Cracow, 7 December 2009 Press release

Austrian Honorary Cross awarded to Professor Dr. Jan Slek

Cracow, 7 December 2009 – The founder of the “International Festival of Viennese Music” in Breslau and former professor of music at the State Music Academy in Wroclaw, Professor Dr. Jan Slek, was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Arts for Merit to the Republic of Austria by the Austrian Consul General during yesterday’s traditional annual ceremony of the Cracow Merchants’ Guild in the ceremonial hall of the Cracow municipal council.

Mayor Professor Majchrowski participated in this anniversary celebration as the highest ranking representative of the city of Cracow, and was the guest of the Consul General at the lunch that was subsequently given at the latter’s Residence in honour of the awardee, as was Vice Mayor Trzmiel, who is also the coordinator of bilateral cooperation between Vienna and Cracow. The annual celebration, already the 599th in Cracow’s Municipal Council, was attended by more than 500 guests. The awarding of the decoration was included in the programme of the annual celebration of the Merchants’ Guild upon a proposal made by Professor Slek, who participated in this celebration as an honorary guest, and after the approval of the presidents of the Merchants’ Guilds of Wroclaw and Cracow, for whom the presentation of an Austrian decoration brought a welcome international character to this annual Polish ceremony.

The eulogy stressed in particular the fact that Professor Slek contributed to the popularity of Viennese music through a varied concert programme in the Philharmonic Orchestra of Wroclaw and in other renowned concert halls in Lower Silesia. His particular merit in this field, however, is the International Festival of Viennese Music which he founded in 1993, and which features composers ranging from Joseph Lanner to Robert Stolz. The first Festival of Viennese Music took place in Jelenia Góra, and all the subsequent festivals since 1997 were staged in Wroclaw, or were divided between Wroclaw and other cities in Lower Silesia. For several years, Professor Slek has been one of the most renowned promoters of Austrian culture in Poland and thus makes enormous contributions to strengthening relations between Poland and Austria.           


Austrian Consulate General in Cracow
Tel. (+48/12) 424 99 30